I am a planner. This means that despite having a solid plan A, I also have plans B, C & D in the wings. I try to view most situations from all angles and I normally make decisions in a manner that mitigates problems. After trying, even unofficially at times, for five years to conceive all my common sense flew out the window. The idea of something going wrong was not even in my realm of existence. As far as I was concerned the winds of fate had finally blessed us with a baby and so a baby we were having.
When we went for our first ultrasound the fetus was underdeveloped for its gestational age and the heartbeat had just started. This should have been a huge warning sign. However, I have irregular cycles and I don’t ovulate like everyone else. I could have ovulated late. As far as I was concerned the “28 Day Cycle” had never applied to me so we couldn’t use those numbers. The doctor told me there was no need to worry and that they would do another ultrasound in two weeks to determine where things stood. Any concern I had was fleeting. Although it shouldn’t have been…
A few days before the ultrasound, I spotted. Not much at all just three tiny red dots on a piece of toilet paper. My internal alarm went off a little, but my optimism was not to be deterred.
A few days later we went in to see the ultrasound. I remember it clearly. As the tech placed the wand all I saw was darkness. It didn’t look anything like the other ultrasound picture. It was empty. The dark circle of my uterus starred back at me. What was once hope filled with hope was now hollow. My heart grew heavy and sank deep into my chest to try and protect me from the onslaught of emotions. No one had to say a word. The baby was dead. The tech started showing me where the fetus was. It was collapsed, with no heart beat at the bottom of the screen; like a rag doll on the floor. I was crushed.
They ushered us into see a physician who made the comment, “I guess this was expected.” I don’t think he noticed the pain in my eyes. “Who expected this,” I wanted to ask, but I was too busy trying not to crash. Instead I was asking questions in a businesslike manner trying to make sense of what had happened.
It was labeled a missed miscarriage. The fetus was eleven weeks old, but only developed to seven weeks. I had to have a D&C (Dilation and Curettage) to remove the dead tissue. They weren’t able to do it that Friday so they scheduled it for Monday. Afterward we went out for a late lunch. We didn’t really want to eat, but we didn’t know what to do. I had a Diet Coke because it didn’t matter anymore. I didn’t have to protect the baby from aspartame. There was no baby. I looked up at Andy and said, “I have a dead baby inside of me.” He looked at me with sad eyes and took my hand. Neither of us knew how to respond.
Peace, Love & Never Needing a D&C,
Missed Miscarriage is a post in a series on infertility. Additional articles can be read below.